The Antichrist: European Aristocrat or Middle Eastern Muslim? Part 1

I was introduced to the idea of an Islamic Antichrist some time ago when I came across a couple of articles, one of which concerns the information below about the real identity of the people who sacked Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Please know I did not discover this information but my research that follows in The Antichrist: European Aristocrat or Middle Eastern Muslim? Part 1 was my necessary due diligence for confirmation and it is a bit more in depth than the original article.

Part 1 is a historic examination of Daniel 9:26 showing how it points to a revived Islamic Caliphate.

Part 2 examines various peripheral Scripture concerning the ethnicity of the Antichrist.


It is widely believed among today’s Bible scholars that the coming Antichrist will be a European man from the heart of a revived Roman Empire. Some of the evidence for this view is taken from Daniel 9:26 which is part of the famous 70 Weeks Prophecy that Daniel recorded from the angel Gabriel who was sent by God to tell him of the things that were to come.

“Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. [Daniel 9:26 NASB]

Temple Destroyed AD 70It is well known that the Roman Army swept into Jerusalem in A.D. 70, some 600 years later, resulting in the destruction of the Jewish temple shortly after the death and Resurrection of Christ. Because of these events, many scholars today have interpreted this verse as pointing to a European Antichrist from a revived Roman Empire. The recent rise of a European superstate, the European Union, has served as further proof for this view but are we looking in the right place? Is this what the Book of Daniel actually says? I intend to use this same verse et al to make a case for a Middle-Eastern Antichrist rising from the heart of an Islamic Empire by looking a little deeper into God’s Word and some of the history surrounding the people who actually destroyed the Jewish temple in A.D. 70.

 The Prophecy

Daniel 9:26 says the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and sanctuary. The prince who is to come is the Antichrist. The city is Jerusalem. The sanctuary is the temple. The city and the temple were destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Roman Army, which leads many to believe the Antichrist will be European. However, scholars agree that some time earlier than A.D. 70, Rome began the practice of absorbing the peoples of the regions it conquered into its army1 and ancient historians have documented in their writings that the ethnicity of the people who actually destroyed Jerusalem and set fire to the temple was Middle-Eastern. Let’s look at some of these fascinating accounts from well-respected historians.

 The History

Tacitus. Tacitus (A.D. 56 – A.D. 117) was a senator and Roman historian. Here’s what he writes concerning the Roman occupation of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 in The Histories.

From Book 5:

 “A.D. 70Early in this year Titus Caesar, who had been selected by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea, and who had gained distinction as a soldier while both were still subjects, began to rise in power and reputation, as armies and provinces emulated each other in their attachment to him. The young man himself, anxious to be thought superior to his station, was ever displaying his gracefulness and his energy in war. By his courtesy and affability he called forth a willing obedience, and he often mixed with the common soldiers, while working or marching, without impairing his dignity as general. He found in Judaea three legions, the 5th, the 10th, and the 15th, all old troops of Vespasian’s. To these he added the 12th from Syria, and some men belonging to the 18th and 3rd, whom he had withdrawn from Alexandria. This force was accompanied by twenty cohorts of allied troops and eight squadrons of cavalry, by the two kings Agrippa and Sohemus, by the auxiliary forces of king Antiochus, by a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews with the usual hatred of neighbours, and, lastly, by many persons brought from the capital and from Italy by private hopes of securing the yet unengaged affections of the Prince. With this force Titus entered the enemy’s territory, preserving strict order on his march, reconnoitring every spot, and always ready to give battle. At last he encamped near Jerusalem.” 2

Tacitus lists four legions involved in the sacking of Jerusalem, the 5th, 10th, 12th and 15th. We will look at the make-up of these legions later. He then goes on to say that in addition to three local kings giving forces to the Romans, a large contingent of Arabs who had a hatred of the Jews also fought with them.

Josephus. Josephus (A.D. 37 – A.D. 100) was a Jewish historian. He writes of these same events in A.D. 70 in The War of the Jews.

From Book 2:

 “There was also another disturbance at Cesarea, – those Jews who were mixed with the Syrians that lived there rising a tumult against them. The Jews pretended that the city was theirs, and said that he who built it was a Jew, meaning king Herod. The Syrians confessed also that its builder was a Jew; but they still said, however, that the city was a Grecian city; for that he who set up statues and temples in it could not design it for Jews. On which account both parties had a contest with one another; and this contest increased so much, that it came at last to arms, and the bolder sort of them marched out to fight; for the elders of the Jews were not able to put a stop to their own people that were disposed to be tumultuous, and the Greeks thought it a shame for them to be overcome by the Jews. Now these Jews exceeded the others in riches and strength of body; but the Grecian part had the advantage of assistance from the soldiery; for the greatest part of the Roman garrison was raised out of Syria; and being thus related to the Syrian part, they were ready to assist it.3

Josephus also places Middle-Eastern people within the Roman Army.

From Book 4:

 “Whether, therefore, we estimate the capacity of governing from the skill of a person in years, we ought to have Vespasian, – or whether from the strength of a young man, we ought to have Titus; for by this means we shall have the advantage of both their ages, for that they will afford strength to those that shall be made emperors, they having already three legions, besides other auxiliaries from the neighboring kings, and will have further all the armies in the east to support them, as also those in Europe, so they as they are out of the distance and dread of Vitellius, besides such auxiliaries as they may have in Italy itself; that is, Vespasian’s brother, (21) and his other son [Domitian];” 4

Rome had troop support from the neighboring kings in the region near Jerusalem plus additional Middle-Eastern armies.

From Book 5:

 “Thus did John hope to be too hard for his enemies by these engines constructed by his impiety; but God himself demonstrated that his pains would prove of no use to him, by bringing the Romans upon him, before he had reared any of his towers; for Titus, when he had gotten together part of his forces about him, and had ordered the rest to meet him at Jerusalem, marched out of Cesarea. He had with him those three legions that had accompanied his father when he laid Judea waste, together with that twelfth legion which had been formerly beaten with Cestius; which legion, as it was otherwise remarkable for its valor, so did it march on now with greater alacrity to avenge themselves on the Jews, as remembering what they had formerly suffered from them. Of these legions he ordered the fifth to meet him, by going through Emmaus, and the tenth to go up by Jericho; he also moved himself, together with the rest; besides whom, marched those auxiliaries that came from the kings, being now more in number than before, together with a considerable number that came to his assistance from Syria.” 5

Syrian troops are again mentioned here, a considerable number.

From Book 3:

 “But as to Titus, he sailed over from Achaia to Alexandria, and that sooner than the winter season did usually permit; so he took with him those forces he was sent for, and marching with great expedition, he came suddenly to Ptolemais, and there finding his father, together with the two legions, the fifth and the tenth, which were the most eminent legions of all, he joined them to that fifteenth legion which was with his father; eighteen cohorts followed these legions; there came also five cohorts from Cesarea, with one troop of horsemen, and five other troops of horsemen from Syria. Now these ten cohorts had severally a thousand footmen, but the other thirteen cohorts had no more than six hundred footmen apiece, with a hundred and twenty horsemen. There were also a considerable number of auxiliaries got together, that came from the kings Antiochus, and Agrippa, and Sohemus, each of them contributing one thousand footmen that were archers, and a thousand horsemen. Malchus also, the king of Arabia, sent a thousand horsemen, besides five thousand footmen, the greatest part of which were archers; so that the whole army, including the auxiliaries sent by the kings, as well horsemen as footmen, when all were united together, amounted to sixty thousand, besides the servants, who, as they followed in vast numbers, so because they had been trained up in war with the rest, ought not to be distinguished from the fighting men; for as they were in their masters’ service in times of peace, so did they undergo the like dangers with them in times of war, insomuch that they were inferior to none, either in skill or in strength, only they were subject to their masters.” 6

In addition to other kings in the area, Malchus, the king of Arabia, sent 6,000 troops to fight with Rome.

From Book 5:

“Hereupon some of the deserters, having no other way, leaped down from the wall immediately, while others of them went out of the city with stones, as if they would fight them; but thereupon they fled away to the Romans. But here a worse fate accompanied these than what they had found within the city; and they met with a quicker despatch from the too great abundance they had among the Romans, than they could have done from the famine among the Jews; for when they came first to the Romans, they were puffed up by the famine, and swelled like men in a dropsy; after which they all on the sudden overfilled those bodies that were before empty, and so burst asunder, excepting such only as were skillful enough to restrain their appetites, and by degrees took in their food into bodies unaccustomed thereto. Yet did another plague seize upon those that were thus preserved; for there was found among the Syrian deserters a certain person who was caught gathering pieces of gold out of the excrements of the Jews’ bellies; for the deserters used to swallow such pieces of gold, as we told you before, when they came out, and for these did the seditious search them all; for there was a great quantity of gold in the city, insomuch that as much was now sold [in the Roman camp] for twelve Attic [drams], as was sold before for twenty-five. But when this contrivance was discovered in one instance, the fame of it filled their several camps, that the deserters came to them full of gold. So the multitude of the Arabians, with the Syrians, cut up those that came as supplicants, and searched their bellies. Nor does it seem to me that any misery befell the Jews that was more terrible than this, since in one night’s time about two thousand of these deserters were thus dissected.” 7

Some of the Jews who deserted to the Romans were brutally murdered by the “Arabians, with the Syrians” within the Roman Army to the dismay of Titus Caesar.

  “When Titus came to the knowledge of this wicked practice, he had like to have surrounded those that had been guilty of it with his horse, and have shot them dead; and he had done it, had not their number been so very great, and those that were liable to this punishment would have been manifold more than those whom they had slain. However, he called together the commanders of the auxiliary troops he had with him, as well as the commanders of the Roman legions, (for some of his own soldiers had been also guilty herein, as he had been informed,) and had great indignation against both sorts of them, and said to them, “What! have any of my own soldiers done such things as this out of the uncertain hope of gain, without regarding their own weapons, which are made of silver and gold? Moreover, do the Arabians and Syrians now first of all begin to govern themselves as they please, and to indulge their appetites in a foreign war, and then, out of their barbarity in murdering men, and out of their hatred to the Jews, get it ascribed to the Romans?” for this infamous practice was said to be spread among some of his own soldiers also. Titus then threatened that he would put such men to death, if any of them were discovered to be so insolent as to do so again; moreover, he gave it in charge to the legions, that they should make a search after such as were suspected, and should bring them to him.” 8

Middle Eastern Gentiles Razing JerusalemThe massacre by the Syrians and the Arabians sets the precedent for those of Middle-Eastern origin within the Roman Army to disobey Roman authority because of their hatred of the Jews. This will be of importance when we see below who it was that really destroyed the temple.

Of the destruction of the temple itself, Tacitus writes,

 “It is said that Titus first called a council and deliberated whether he should destroy such a mighty temple. For some thought that a consecrated shrine, which was famous beyond all other works of men, ought not to be razed, arguing that its preservation would bear witness to the moderation of Rome, while its destruction would for ever brand her cruelty. Yet others, including Titus himself, opposed, holding the destruction of this temple to be a prime necessity in order to wipe out more completely the religion of the Jews and the Christians; for they urged that these religions, although hostile to each other, nevertheless sprang from the same sources; the Christians had grown out of the Jews: if the root were destroyed, the stock would easily perish.” 9

According to Tacitus, it would seem that Titus wanted the temple to be destroyed. However, according to Josephus, Titus was quite upset when he heard of the destruction of the temple at the hands of the Middle-Eastern conscripts within his army.

 “And now a certain person came running to Titus, and told him of this fire, as he was resting himself in his tent after the last battle; whereupon he rose up in great haste, and, as he was, ran to the holy house, in order to have a stop put to the fire; after him followed all his commanders, and after them followed the several legions, in great astonishment; so there was a great clamor and tumult raised, as was natural upon the disorderly motion of so great an army. Then did Caesar, both by calling to the soldiers that were fighting, with a loud voice, and by giving a signal to them with his right hand, order them to quench the fire. But they did not hear what he said, though he spake so loud, having their ears already dimmed by a greater noise another way; nor did they attend to the signal he made with his hand neither, as still some of them were distracted with fighting, and others with passion. But as for the legions that came running thither, neither any persuasions nor any threatenings could restrain their violence, but each one’s own passion was his commander at this time; and as they were crowding into the temple together, many of them were trampled on by one another, while a great number fell among the ruins of the cloisters, which were still hot and smoking, and were destroyed in the same miserable way with those whom they had conquered; and when they were come near the holy house, they made as if they did not so much as hear Caesar’s orders to the contrary; but they encouraged those that were before them to set it on fire.” 10And now, since Caesar was no way able to restrain the enthusiastic fury of the soldiers, and the fire proceeded on more and more, he went into the holy place of the temple, with his commanders, and saw it, with what was in it, which he found to be far superior to what the relations of foreigners contained, and not inferior to what we ourselves boasted of and believed about it. But as the flame had not as yet reached to its inward parts, but was still consuming the rooms that were about the holy house, and Titus supposing what the fact was, that the house itself might yet he saved, he came in haste and endeavored to persuade the soldiers to quench the fire, and gave order to Liberalius the centurion, and one of those spearmen that were about him, to beat the soldiers that were refractory with their staves, and to restrain them; yet were their passions too hard for the regards they had for Caesar, and the dread they had of him who forbade them, as was their hatred of the Jews, and a certain vehement inclination to fight them, too hard for them also.” 11

It would appear there are two conflicting accounts of Titus Caesar’s involvement with the destruction of the Jewish temple. It could be that perhaps Titus simply changed his mind on the matter. However, what is interesting to note is that those who actually burned the temple did so out of their hatred of the Jews. We know from Tacitus above that a large contingent of Arabs joined the Roman Army out of their hatred of the Jews and we know from Josephus that Syrians and Arabians massacred a number of Jews, also out of their hatred for them. Even if Titus did order the destruction of the temple, it is the ethnicity of the people who actually did it which should interest us. Until now, I have alluded to the fact that it was indeed mostly Middle-Eastern peoples who destroyed the city and temple. Below are the ethnicities of the soldiers who actually made up the legions and cohorts within the legions.

As Tacitus wrote above, the legions involved in the sacking of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 are the 5th, 10th, 12th and 15th. Their ethnicities are as follows:

  •  Legion 5 Macedonica: Moesia: Serbia, Bulgaria
  • Legion 10 Fretensis: Turkey, Syria
  • Legion 12 Fulminata: Melitene: Eastern Turkey, Syria
  • Legion 15 Apollinaris: Syria

The Legion that actually set fire to the Temple was X Fretensis. This Legion consisted of these cohorts:

  •  Thracum: Syria (Syrians)
  • IV Cohort Thracia: Bulgaria and Turkey (Turks)
  • Syria Ulpia Patraeorum: Petra in Edom (Nabatean Arabs)
  • IV Cohort Arabia (Arabs)

The destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the temple by Middle-Eastern peoples fits with the true identity of the Antichrist’s future empire in Revelation 17 and 18. It is not Rome but Babylon just as it says. Islam is now the religion of the Middle-East. I don’t believe the Antichrist will be a European Aristocrat but a Middle-Eastern Muslim.


  1. Millar, Fergus. “Soldiers, cities, and civilians in ….” 2011. Google Books. 15 January 2011 <,+Syria+and+Egypt+were+made+up+from+of+recruits+from+Asia+Minor,+Syria+and+Egypt&source=bl&ots=JJG8PNj4z0&sig=xqqbn7SKndX0CR1rdO2d2r0WiSE&hl=en&ei=UEoyT>.
  2. Tacitus. “The Internet Classics Archive.” 2009. 11 January 2011 <>.
  3. Josephus. “Christian Classics Ethereal Library.” 2011. 11 January 2011 <>.
  4. Josephus. “Christian Classics Ethereal Library.” 2011. 11 January 2011 <>.
  5. Josephus. “Christian Classics Ethereal Library.” 2011. 11 January 2011 <>.
  6. Josephus. “Christian Classics Ethereal Library.” 2011. 11 January 2011 <>.
  7. Josephus. “Christian Classics Ethereal Library.” 2011. 11 January 2011 <>.
  8. Josephus. “Christian Classics Ethereal Library.” 2011. 11 January 2011 <>.
  9. “LacusCurtius Tacitus, Histories — Fragments.” 2011. 15 January 2011 <*.html#2>.
  10. “LacusCurtius Tacitus, Histories — Fragments.” 2011. 15 January 2011 <*.html#2>.
  11. “LacusCurtius Tacitus, Histories — Fragments.” 2011. 15 January 2011 <*.html#2>.

4 responses to “The Antichrist: European Aristocrat or Middle Eastern Muslim? Part 1”

  1. It’s not important who destroys factually the jews. You won’t never see the identity of the real descendant of Titus.

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